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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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We have lived in our house on an executive housing estate for

Resolved Question:

We have lived in our house on an executive housing estate for the past 15 years since it was built. We have a very scruffy hedge at the front of our house, which we would like to replace with a low red brick wall, topped with small railings (a total height of 3'). Unfortunately, when the houses were built by Beezer, a covenant was put into place, stating that there were to be no walls or fences added to the properties. My husband has been in contact with Plymouth City Council, who were quite helpful regarding planning permission etc. Apparently, there isn't a problem with this. However, they were unable to help us with the covenant. They said that this was nothing to do with them & that the building company (Beezer) were responsible for this. Beezer no longer exists. They were bought out by Persimmon about 12 years ago. So far,we have tried to get to the bottom of this without any success. Nobody seems able - or willing - to help. It seems ludicrous that a tiny little wall should pose such a problem - especially as, in the years that have passed, many people on our estate have put up fences etc. This may be because they don't realise or don't care, but my husband & I are not prepared to take the risk of spending £6,000 on a wall only to have to knock it down again. I would appreciate any advice that you have to offer. Thank you.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.

Alex Watts : Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return You do not need to wait here as you will get an email when I reply.
Alex Watts : Just so that I am clear the only beneficiary of the covenant is the company which no longer exists?
Customer:

As far as I'm aware, it was a covenant put in place by Beezer, but I don't know if this would have been automatically taken on by Persimmon when they bought Beezer out.

Alex Watts :

Did they buy all the assets etc?

Customer:

Sorry to take so long to reply. I managed to press the wrong button & lost our conversation for a while. I really don't know if they bought all the assets. All I know is that Persimmon took over the Beazer company in 2001, so does that mean that they would automatically acquire all assets, including the covenant on our estate?

Alex Watts :

Not necessarily.

Alex Watts :

What you can do is get insurance against this form of event

Alex Watts :

So insurance in the event that someone comes along and seeks to enforce the covenant.

Alex Watts :

I would seek this insurance and then get the work done

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

Thank you for your advice. What kind of insurance would we be looking at, if we decide to go ahead? If it's necessary to insure, does this mean that we have actually broken the covenant & could be penalised for it? Who is likely to enforce the covenant? Would it be Persimmon, if they have possession of all the assets from Beazer? As you may have guessed, we are reluctant to do anything unless we are confident that our actions are unlikely to be challenged.

Alex Watts : It would be Indemnity insurance - in case there is ever a claim.
Alex Watts : The only person who can enforce the covenant is the beneficiary, but if they no longer exist it is unlikely anyone would pursue you.
Alex Watts : Does that help?
Customer:

Thank you very much for your help & time. Hopefully, we'll now go ahead with it.

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